'Wayne's World': THR's 1992 Review

Wayne's World - H - 1992
It's splendidly smart, dumb stuff.

On Feb. 14, 1992, Paramount took Wayne's World to the big screen with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey starring and Lorne Michaels producing. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

Mid-American couch potato-heads Wayne and Garth bring their winning Saturday Night Live routine to the big screen and, dude, spread out the chips and Oscar Mayer cold cuts for the accounting department at Paramount who get to play with the totally excellent receipts. Party on!

Although there's no denying some bucks were laid out on this movie for Jolt Cola, red licorice and a couple T-shirts, Wayne's World should be interplanetary on the profit vs. cost ratio ... extra batteries for those pocket calculators, dudes. 

In this silver-screen incarnation, big-city smoothie (Rob Lowe) catches Wayne's (Mike Myers) and Garth's (Dana Carvey) cable-access basement act and decides it's just the thing needed to reach Chicago's mushbrained, teenage audience. With visions of babes and fame in their heads, the duo decides to revamp their show to fit the big-city format and include important discussions on the federal budget, feminism, the Warren Commission, health, the music of Hector Berlioz — No!

Anyway, there is some high-powered pressure for Wayne and Garth to spruce up their telecasts, to transcend their regular format of babe salutes, new gadget demonstrations and heavy-metal lore and to include a regular featured interview with their show's sponsor, an oafish arcade owner. Will Wayne and Garth sell out their artistic integrity to the media conglomerates in the name of shaking out more quarters from the nation's youth? Heavy theme stuff. 

Well, like great artists throughout the ages, Wayne and Garth find the financial rewards for being themselves are headspinning, particularly for man-of-dreams Wayne. Not entirely wet behind the ears, Wayne appreciates that money can get the two most important things in life, babes and guitars. And talk about love karma on the plains of Illinois, Wayne's ultimate vision of loveliness — a knock-your-cap-off babe (Tia Carrere) who sings in a rock band — appears just when he has some bucks in his pocket. 

While the plot is a bit light even to be carried on Wayne and Garth's droopy shoulders, it's splendidly smart, dumb stuff. Even demanding, hyper-charged viewers whose systems have been overinjected with junk food will be pleasantly stimulated by the screenwriters' (Myers, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner) series of kooky, non-sequitur asides and side-road ventures to Milwaukee.

Whoever catered this set must have served extra good donuts and stuff because the acting is real good and we're not just talking about Lowe's deep-smoothie performance. As Wayne and Garth, you could compare Myers and Carvey to Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, if you were talking about funny ways of dressing. But, they're real smart in their send-up of heavy-metal party animals. A big cheer from the balcony for totally awesome Carrere — looking good and singing good. 

And, caps off to director Penelope Spheeris for lensing all those scenes around the great Stan Mikita's donut joint — totally Americana. — Duane Byrge, originally published on Feb. 14, 1992

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